Ordinarily, wrestling games that have been made the past 10 years or so have been based solely on one company, be it WWF (now WWE), WCW, or ECW. But with an innovative approach from Acclaim, now the roster is beefed up with some of wrestlingís biggest stars -- past and present -- to unite for Legends of Wrestling.
Acclaim has kept its roots, visually, presenting the game once again in a cartoon-like manner, with oversized, colorful wrestlers. The intros have also been improved on to some degree, appearing to be more realistic and visually convincing. The special effects, such as bleeding (which everyone has been dying for in a Smackdown game), are also productive to the overall look and aura of the game.
While the LoW series takes a different approach, both with gameplay style and visuals, itís biggest difference is, of course, its star-studded roster, filled to the brim with big name superstars. Some of the bigger names include Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Sid Vicious, Scott Steiner, Andre the Giant, and much, much more. There are also a few newcomers to the series, including Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Big John Studd. More than 65 wrestlers will make up the finalized roster, each one having 3 selectable costumes.
The career-mode is where the meat lies in Legends of Wrestling 2, where players will vie for the championship belt in a story-driven series of events. Youíll travel nationwide and even venture into international territories to compete for the rights as the best there is (best there was, and best there ever will be.)
While the match list isnít as stacked as, say, a Smackdown, itís still quite robust nonetheless, featuring a plethora of various match types. Some found include Ladder Matches, Battle Royals, Cage Matches, 6- and 8- man Elimination matches, and even 3- and 4-way Dances. Players can also enter a tag-team tournament, which features a number of classical duos that have fought side-by-side for years.
Although many complained about the way the game played out, this yearís version is virtually the same -- gameplay-wise -- with a few marginal differences and improvements here and there. With relatively straightforward controls, newcomers to the series should be able to adapt easily, and reversals and combos will also be thrown into the mix, as well as a combo meter that allows the linkage of a series of moves.
Legends of Wrestling 2 is shaping up to be a worthy title for those of interest in the sport. Players will find many improvements over last yearís foray, and some of the complaints people had about the first one should be fixed. Until then, stay tuned.
8/7/2002 Joseph Comunale